Elder Abuse Courts

Faced with a steady rise in cases and filings related to elder abuse, many California courts are developing ways to accommodate seniors and bring together community partners and resources so as to more comprehensively address the needs of abused and neglected elders.

  New Available Online
  Elder Abuse Pocket Reference for Judges
  107 pages, 2012


Contra Costa, recipient of the 2010-2011 Ralph N. Kleps Award holds Elder Court training.

Elders today are more active, independent, and living longer than ever before. However, as our population ages, the elderly become more susceptible to the hidden problems of elder abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and exploitation. Elder abuse and neglect caseloads are increasing in the courts. What can our courts do to help?

Several courts in California have implemented promising practices specifically designed to address this population, which also include the application of collaborative justice principles. These courts develop expertise on a broad spectrum of issues specific to the elderly. Collaboration with local agencies and resources are often sought so as to provide a more comprehensive approach to the application of justice.

The Center for Families, Children & the Courts staff who directly support the Collaborative Justice Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council, works closely with local courts to promote the implementation and expansion of such efforts. If you have any questions or comments regarding Elder Courts, these can be directed to collaborativejustice@jud.ca.gov.

Effective Court Practice for Abused Elders

The Center for Families, Children & the Courts, with support from the Archstone Foundation has explored how courts can effectively respond to cases involving elder abuse.

Fact Sheet: Effective Court Practice for Abused Elders

Beginning in 2010 and into 2011, the Judicial Council provided funding and organizational support to conduct three trainings in the San Francisco Bay area, central, and southern California. Hosted by Contra Costa, Fresno, and Ventura Superior Courts, surrounding jurisdictions were invited to attend and participate. These day long trainings were well attended and provided a comprehensive examination of issues related to creating such courts including the importance of understanding the needs of the elderly.


See also Resources Tab



Archstone Final Report February 2008:
Main Body    
Appendix A-E   
    Data Collection Instruments
    Full Results of Court File Reviews
    Full Results of Statewide Survey on Court Response to Elder Abuse
    Study County Statistical Profiles

Curriculum - Elder Abuse: An Overview for the California Courts   
A basic introduction to elder abuse, its dynamics, and special considerations for the court in handling elder abuse cases.

Additional Resources:

Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Elder Rights and Protection,

Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

California Attorney General’s Crime and Violence Prevention Center, Elder Abuse section,

California Department of Aging, www.cda.ca.gov

Foundation of the State Bar of California, Seniors and the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians,

Office of the California Attorney General, A Citizen’s Guide to Preventing and Reporting Elder Abuse,

U.S. National Institutes on Health, National Institute on Aging, www.nia.nih.gov


Court Related

American Association of Retired Persons, Guarding the Guardians: Promising Practices for Court Monitoring,

American Bar Association, Commission on Law and Aging, www.abanet.org/aging

American Bar Association, Recommended Guidelines for State Courts Handling Cases Involving Elder Abuse, www.ncsconline.org/famviol/elderabuse/pdf/Key%20Components%20Exercise%20Resources/ABA%20Recommended%20Guidelines%20for%20Courts%20on%20Elder%20Abuse.pdf 

Elder Abuse Pocket Reference for Judges; 107 pages 2012

Elder Justice Center, 13th Judicial District, Florida, http://www.fljud13.org/CourtPrograms/ElderJusticeCenter.aspx

Judicial Council of California, Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A Benchguide for Judicial Officers, www.nlada.org/DMS/Documents/1176151729.08/CA%20pro%20se%20Benchbook.pdf 

Judicial Council of California, Recommended Practices for Improving the Administration of Justice in Probate Conservatorship Cases (final report of the Probate Conservatorship Task Force), www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/documents/reports/102607itemD.pdf 

National Center for State Courts, Elder Abuse and the Courts Working Group,

National Center for State Courts, Elder Abuse Resource Guide,


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